Local sightings

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March 2014

Peacocka Starling was an unexpected visitor to one house, having fallen down the chimney! Brown Trout were obvious in The Test off Kingsclere Road. Great Spotted Woodpecker were heard at Flashetts. A frosted and bright start to the month, wooden fences were steaming in the sun, magnolia budding and many birds were in song.
Blue Tit were seen clearing spider's webs from nest boxes. On the blue theme, both of the cock peafowl were heard late morning. The wettest day of the month with 14.1mm of rain falling.
Right: Blue Peafowl, Pavo cristatus. By far the most flamboyant bird locally, albeit not one of the natural avian species
Blue Tit were very vocal, their continued searching for nest sites including much territorial 'showing-off'. The coldest day of the month with an average of just 5.1°C being recorded during the hours of daylight.
Great Spotted Woodpecker was heard at Kingsclere Road early in the day. A further frost!
and again, a frost!
a Blue Peafowl was heard mid-evening, everything else already having settled in for the night. A Little Grebe was on The Test off Kingsclere Road.
a Red-legged Partridge was roadside north of Polhampton.
flocks of Brimstone were noted in village gardens, lesser numbers of Small Tortoiseshell and a white sp., as well as bees and flies, also being evident in the improved weather. Overhead Red Kite and Buzzard were on the wing whilst more terrestrial were Blue Peafowl and Peacock, flowering Lesser Celandine, Groundsel, Ground Ivy, Flowering Red Currant and 125+ Rabbit; the latter about the disused De La Rue site near Jackson's Copse.
Green Sandpiper two Red Kite were over Lower Ashe woodland early evening.
further frosting!
both Comma and Peacock were seen coming to an ornamental cherry's blossoms. The Little Grebe was again seen on The Test off Kingsclere Road.
two Buzzard were drifting high over the northern side of the village late afternoon.
a Green Sandpiper was found whilst conducting WeBS counts about the wetter area of the Parish. Peacock and Brimstone again graced gardens while, overhead Canada Geese headed west mid-morning. 22.3°C was recorded mid-afternoon, by far the highest yet this year!
Right: Green Sandpiper, Tringa ochropus — Barry Stalker (http://www.birdingbasingstokeanddeane.co.uk/)
Great Spotted Woodpecker was again heard off Kingsclere Road on the commuter run.
at least one of the Blue Peafowl was voluble early evening.
13 Fieldfare headed high east late afternoon, these with several heavy hail showers still more reminiscent of winter than spring. The generally improved weather however allowed perhaps a handful of Red Kite and at least two Buzzard up on the wing over the village; a strong but relatively brief rainbow somewhat more notable nowadays.
2 Mute Swan heads further frosting with -3°C recoded prior to dawn, the coldest this month! Two Buzzard were on plough off Nutley bottom Lane late in the day. A Magpie about Woodlands during the evening was quite notable, if only for that area.
a / the Long-eared Owl drifted across the road between Ashe and North Oakley pre-dawn. Several searches by other locals had however failed to find any evidence of these being about, both early and late in the day.
a Mute Swan was again feeding on Town Meadow, the flooding yet to have relinquished its hold there.
Right: Mute Swan, Cygnus olor. So serene looking for so much of the time, but that certainly isn't the whole story with these!
the OBS AGM!!! Heavy hail fell mid-afternoon, many of the icy lumps being irregularly shaped and not much appreciated by anything out in them.
Hairy-footed Flower Bee on Lungwort Wood Anemone were in bloom off Waltham Road. One Greyhound Lane garden played host to Seven-spot Ladybird and Brimstone, a neighbouring garden, in Alexander Road, holding Peacock; the butterfly that is. Red Kite, Sparrowhawk and Buzzard were seen over the village during the afternoon. The warmest day of the month, averaging 15°C during the daylight hours.
a butterfly day!!! Many Brimstone were seen visiting Parish gardens. Both Red Kite and Buzzard were again obvious over the village in the more clement weather. A frog was spotted hopping along in a front garden.
Hairy-footed Flower Bee were visiting the trumpets of Lungwort. Continuing the spring feel magnolia that had survived the recent rain and hail were now flowering, in fact glowing, in both the sun and gardens. Marsh Marigold were in flower on the pools off Southington Lane, where a Litle Grebe was intent on hiding from observers. Towards dusk both Peacock and Pheasant were vocal about the village edges. After night fall 'the' frog was out again in the same front garden.
Right: Hairy-footed Flower Bee, Anthopora plumipes. The males of this species seem particularly attracted to Lungwort / pulmonaria

Contributors: David Backers, Helen Backers, Alison Hutchins, Peter E. Hutchins, Veronique Kerguelen, Alan Lewis, Barry Stalker & Adam Trickett.

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